Jan 14



Jonathan crushes Atiku
By Olusola Fabiyi and Abimbola Adelakun
Friday, 14 Jan 2011
The Punch

President Goodluck Jonathan on Friday morning scaled the first major hurdle in his bid to contest the April presidential election, as he beat his opponents, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and Dr. Sarah Jibril, for the Peoples Democratic Party ticket….

Jonathan’s victory was particularly resounding as he floored Abubakar even in his home state, Adamawa. While he polled 76 votes, Abubakar scored 31. He also won in Yobe, the home state of Adamu Ciroma, the Chairman of the group of Northern politicians that selected Abubakar as the consesus candidate of the region. Jonathan won all the votes cast by the 105 delegates from Cross River State. The former vice-president won in Sokoto, Zamfara and Kano states. He scored 84 and 70 votes in Sokoto and Zamfara respectively against Jonathan’s 32 and seven votes while in Kano, he clinched 98 votes against Jonathan’s 26.

The other states that the President won were Abia, Akwa Ibom, Anambra, Bayelsa, Bauchi, Rivers, Taraba, Yobe, Lagos, Jigawa, Nassarawa, Osun, Benue, Ondo, Gombe, Borno, Imo, Cross River , Edo, Kwara, Enugu, Delta, Katsina, Ekiti and Ebonyi as well as the FCT.

Immediately after Bauchi’s votes were counted, the electoral panel jettisoned the alphabetical order of counting. It began with Rivers which had 128 delegates with Jonathan scoring 128 votes against Abubakar’s two. One vote was voided.

Meanwhile, the sudden appearance of the Chairman of the PDP, Dr. Okwesilieze Nwodo, at the primaries nearly marred the event.

Nwodo, who did not arrive with other members of the party’s National Working Committee, suddenly put up an appearance at 5.55pm, to take the microphone from the party’s Deputy National Chairman, Dr. Bello Mohammed.

Nwodo had been restrained on Wednesday by an Enugu High Court from parading himself as the chairman of the party pending the determination of the suit filed by a member of the party in his (Nwodo’s) state, Enugu.

His non-appearance with other NWC members had given the audience the impression that he was complying with the court order.

Before his sudden appearance, Mohammed had taken his position by declaring the convention open.

When he was asked to vacate the podium for Nwodo, Mohammed had protested, saying there was no such order from the President. He was however persuaded and left.

Nwodo later read his opening speech.

Nwodo had in his address urged delegates to use their votes correctly.

“I urge you to use your vote correctly to strentgthen our party and entrench democracy in our land,” he said. Describing the aspirants as “worthy Nigerians and members of the great PDP family.” he said, “choose one of them to be our flagbearer.”

Nwodo added, “I pray you to do so with decorum, dignity and a high sense of patriotism to our party and the nation. We have made elaborate arrangements to make this process manifestly transparent, free and fair.”

But four items away from his speech, the organisers of the event suddenly realised that Nwodo’s action could render the convention a nullity.

This made the National Secretary of the party, Alhaji Kawu Baraje, to announce that Nwodo had written a letter transferring his powers to Mohammed.

He subsequently called on the National Legal Adviser, Chief Olusola Oke, to move a motion empowering Mohammed to act instead of Nwodo.

Oke claimed that  neither the party nor Nwodo was served with the court order. He said the party merely read the court’s order on the pages of newspapers.

Apart from this, he said members of the NWC also heard the court order as rumour.

But in order to save the party from embarrassment, he said the party decided to abide with what they read on (sic) newspapers.

His motion was seconded by the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Alhaji Nafada Bayero.

At this point, Mohammed was invited to the podium where he read the same address earlier read by Nwodo.

“I now declare the convention open and hereby adopt all the activities that have taken place so far,” the acting chairman said.

The Enugu High Court had granted an interim request by a PDP member from Enugu State, Mr. Collins Amalu, that Nwodo should be removed as the party’s chairman since he was not properly readmitted into the PDP.

But on Thursday, Nwodo’s lawyer, Prof. Ilochi Okafor (SAN), said that the court had vacated the interim order. No mention was made of the reason for the U-turn by the court which had fixed January 31 for the hearing of Amalu’s substantive suit.

Nwodo had earlier filed a motion before the Appeal Court, Enugu Division, asking it to set aside the Wednesday order of the lower court.


05: 58am: Professor Tunde Adeniran, Chief Returning Officer of the party declared the result as follows:

Sarah Jibril – 1

Atiku Abubakar – 805

Goodluck Jonathan – 2, 736

Total valid votes cast – 3, 542

President Goodluck Jonathan is ELECTED PDP Presidential flag bearer

05:53am: Finally, from Kaduna State, Goodluck Jonathan has 82 votes and Atiku Abubakar has 41 vote

05:40am: Atiku won Niger State with 94 votes, Goodluck Jonathan has 16 votes.

05:32am: Niger is 36th state to be counted which just leaves Kaduna. In spite of a projected lead in Niger by Atiku, it is clear that Goodluck Jonathan will be the PDP presidential flagbearer come April.

05:28am: Jonathan has 2442 votes, Atiku has 591 and Sarah Jubril has 1. Niger state will be counted now

05:27am: 3 votes for Atiku in Ogun state and 80 for Jonathan while Sarah Jubril gets zero.

05:25am: It appears to be just a formality now. Jonathan’s overall lead is now 2362. Atiku has 588. Sarah Jubril has one

05:20am: Oyo too has spoken and the PDP delegates would also like Goodluck. He gets a masive 107. Atiku gets 10.

05:04am: In Plateau State, Goodluck Jonathan has 70 votes and Atiku Abubakar (Not supplied)

04: 57am: Kogi State, Goodluck Jonathan has 84 votes. Atiku, 24 votes.

04: 53am: From Ekiti State, Goodluck Jonathan has 76 votes, Atiku Abubakar, 1 votes and Sarah Jubril, nil.

04:35am: From Katsina State, Goodluck Jonathan has 147 votes, Atiku Abubakar, 11 votes and Sarah Jubril, nil.

04:20am: In Delta Jonathan wins with 114 votes to Atiku’s 7. Jubril has zero.

04:08am: No change at the top as Jonathan now has 1815 votes, Atiku has 510. Sarah Jubril has 1

04:07am: Atiku gets 9 votes in Enugu. Jonathan gets 89 and Sarah Jubril get nil.

: Enugu is up next. Jonathan remains in front with 1726 votes. Atiku has 501 votes. Jubril has one.

03:57am: Kwara now and can Sarah Jubril, who hails from the state, get some votes in her corner? The answer is yes. There is a reverberating ripple as she gets a solitary vote in her home state. Atiku gets 26. Jonathan gets 61.

03:45am: Not long to go now. Ebonyi was the 25th state to be counted. We are now over two-thirds of the way through and Jonathan’s lead looks pretty solid. He has amassed 1665 votes which compared to Atiku’s 475 amd Sarah Jubril’s 0 is a very healthy lead.

03:43am: In Ebonyi Jonathan wins with 82 votes to Atiku’s 2. Jubril has zero.

03:39am: As Ebonyi state is being collated. A quick look at the leaderboard indicates that Jonathan has 1583 votes, Atiku has 473 and Jubril has none.

03:37am: In Edo state, Jonathan comes away with 60 votes and Atiku none. Jubril gets no votes in Edo.

03:32am: Jonathan opens up a 1000 vote gap on his opponents. What’s more, he just needs another 1000 to get to 2500. He now has 1523 votes. Atiku has 473. Jubril has none.

03:22am: A clean sweep for Jonathan in Cross River. He gets 105 votes as neither Jubril nor Atiku register a vote in the state.

03:16am: Jonathan still has a lead of almost a 1000 votes. He leads with 1418 while Atiku has 473. Jubril has none. Cross River will be next.

03:14am: A late Atiku charge? The former Vice-President wins in Kano with 98 votes, dwarfing Jonathan’s 21. It is only the third state taken by Atiku. Jubril has zero.

02:59am: Total tally: Jonathan leads the way with 1397. Atiku has 375. Jubril has zero. Kano votes being counted now.

02:56am: Imo state delegates vote 125 in Jonathan’s favour. Atiku gets 3 votes. Jubril has none. 02:42am: No change at the top then. Jonathan leads with 1272. Atiku has 372 and Jubril has 0.

02:40am: Not going as planned for Atiku. He loses out in another Northern state in Borno: 33 votes to Jonathan and 26 to Atiku. Jubril still has none.

02:31am: Atiku needs a huge result from Borno state if he is to remain in serious contention. With 1239 votes so far, Jonathan is almost halfway to the magic figure of 2500. Atiku is on 346 votes and Jubril has 0.

02:29am: Gombe state PDP has spoken and they want Goodluck. He gets 55 votes while Atiku gets 18 votes.

02:224am: Gombe State is being counted.

02:22am: It should be noted that, with an estimated 5000 delegate voters, whoever reaches between 2500 and 3000 votes will have an unassailable lead. Early projections suggest that Goodluck Jonathan will reach the magic figure

02:20am: Jonathan leads the race to be PDP presidential flagbearer. He has 1184votes so far and Atiku has 328. Jubril has o votes.

02:14am: Atiku has 6 votes for Ondo state. Jonathan wins yet another state with 69 votes. Jubril has none

02:10am: Total tally: Jonathan leads with 1115. Atiku has 322. Jubril has zero. Ondo state box will be counted next.

: From Benue state, Jonathan gets 72 delegate votes. Atiku gets 15 votes. Jubril gets zero votes

02:03am: One of the electoral officials refuses to sign off the Osun state result saying that one of the delegates, Senator Omisore, was openly canvassing on behalf of President Jonathan.

02:00am: Total tally: Jonathan – 1043 votes. Atiku has 307. Jubril has 0

01: 59am: President Jonathan wins Osun state with 99 votes. Atiku has 1 vote.

01:52 am: We are almost at the halfway stage and Atiku and Jubril still trail. Jonathan – 944. Atiku- 306. Jubril – 0

01:49am: Atiku has 8 votes for Nasarawa state. President Jonathan emerges the winner with 53 votes. Sarah Jubril gets no vote. Three votes were voided. Osun state ballot box will be counted next.

01:43am: Jonathan has 891 votes so far. Atiku still trails with 298 and Jubril has none.

01:42am: Atiku suffers a setback in Jigawa with just 17 votes. President Jonathan extends his lead yet again with a round 100. Jubril has none.

01:34am: Jigawa up next. On the night, Jonathan has 791 votes. Atiku has 281 votes. Jubril 0.

01:30am: Lagos state delegates vote overwhelmingly for Jonathan. He polls 52 votes. Atiku has 3 votes. Jubril has none.

01:26am: President Jonathan maintains his lead with 739 votes. Atiku is on 278. Jubril has zero.

01:25am: Atiku has 3 FCT votes while Jonathan has 24 votes. Mrs Jubril’s wait for her first vote of the night continues.

01:22am: Atiku again closes the gap. Jonathan still leads however with 715 votes. Atiku has 275. Jubril has none.

01:18am: In the Northern state of Zamfara, Atiku has 70 votes from the delegates. Jonathan has 7, his poorest showing yet. Sarah Jubril has zero votes.

01:09am: Jonathan extends his lead slightly with a total 708 votes. Atiku trails with 205 votes. Jubril has zero votes.

01:07am: It’s close again. Atiku has 20 votes from the Yobe state delegation. Jonathan has 29 votes. No votes for Sarah Jubril.

12:57am: Total so far: Jonathan- 679. Atiku 185 votes. Sarah Jubril – 0.

: Goodluck Jonathan rallies and takes Taraba state with 62 votes. Atiku has 15 votes. No vote for Sarah Jubril.

: With that powerful surge in Sokoto, Atiku closes the gap on Jonathan. Jonathan – 617 Atiku – 170 Jubril – 0

12:49am: First victory of the night for Atiku in Sokoto state. He records 84 votes. Jonathan has 32. Jubril has zero votes.

12:37am: Seven states down, thirty to go including FCT. Jonathan now has 585 votes. Atiku has 86 votes. No vote yet for Mrs Jubril.

12:30am: Another South-South state, another victory for Jonathan. In Rivers he registers 128 votes. Atiku has 2 votes. Jubril has none.

12:17am: As we go on to Rivers state, Jonathan has a total of 457 votes. Atiku has 84 and Jubril has nil vote

12:14 am: A much better showing from Atiku in Bauchi but not enough to reduce the gap. Jonathan takes 46 votes. Atiku takes 44 votes. Jubril has zero votes.

11:50pm: Another clean sweep for President Jonathan in Bayelsa. Jonathan – 67. Atiku-0. Jubril – 0.

11:47pm: The turn of Bayelsa state now which is, of course, President Jonathan’s home state. 67 accredited delegates from Bayelsa. Jonathan in the lead but it should be noted that only one Northern state’s votes have been counted thus far out of five. The votes may not be a true indication of overall voting just yet.

11:43pm: Even at this early stage, President Jonathan takes what could be an insurmountable lead. Jonathan – 344, Atiku – 40, Jubril – 0.

11:41pm: Anambra state is won by Jonathan as well. Jonathan – 47. Atiku – 8. Jubril -0.

11:30pm: A quick tally of votes makes grim reading for non-Jonathan supporters. Jonathan -297. Atiku -32 . Jubril -0

11:28pm: It is a clean sweep for Goodluck Jonathan in Akwa Ibom. Both Atiku Abubakar and Sarah Jubril fail to register a single vote in the South-South state. Jonathan -141 . Atiku -0. Jubril -0

11:15pm: Akwa Ibom is up next with 141delegates. Pattern continues for the night as Goodluck Jonathan’s name is repeatedly called out… 11:07pm: As we prepare for Akwa Ibom. The tally thus far is: Jonathan – 156, Atiku – 32 ,Jubril – 0.

11:06pm: Jonathan triumphs in Adamawa, Atiku’s home state. The momentum remains with the president as he gets 76 votes compared with 31 for Atiku Abubakar, 3 voided votes and Zero votes for Sarah Jubril.

10:51pm: Atiku Abubakar’s home state is up next with Adamawa 127 delegate votes being counted. No change in fortunes however as Goodluck Jonathan remains in the lead. Still no vote for Sarah Jubril.

10: 46pm: Abia with 82 registered voters goes to Goodluck Jonathan. 80 votes for him and 1 vote for Atiku Abubakar.

10:43pm: Abia State votes for Goodluck Jonathan.


10:29pm: Confusion cleared up and we begin counting with Abia state. The electoral panel member for Abia shows each vote to the contender’s representative before it is read out on the microphone. All votes so far go to the incumbent President Jonathan. No vote for Sarah Jubril or Atiku Abubakar yet in Abia.

10:25pm: First signs of confusion as members of electoral panel seem to be unsure if they should collate votes first or start counting immediately. The ensuing debate is causing a delay in proceedings. It had been a relative plain sailing thus far.

10:20pm: Counting of votes has started. We will provide state-by-state breakdown as and when we receive.

10:07pm: After two hours and five minutes, the voting is now over. Tunde Adeniran invites representatives of each aspirant as well as State Security officials to come and witness the counting of votes.

10:00pm: Only a few hundred delegates left to vote now. The MC again assures all seated that votes will be counted in full view of delegates. A number have left the arena after casting their vote.

09:32pm: Hassan Ladi, a delegate from Kwara state, says he is very pleased with how organised everything is. “The process is going on very well,” he says. “This is a significant improvement to previous years and I give kudos to the organisers.” The number of missing items increases with a laptop and phone declared lost and found respectively.

09:20pm: Teslim Folarin, the senate leader charged with the murder of Lateef Salako, has made an appearance but it is not yet clear yet if he voted. Tonye Harry, speaker of the Rivers state House of Assembly, gives a thumbs up for President Jonathan’s return. He criticises Atiku’s remarks on the depletion of the excess crude account, saying: “Does he even know what he is saying?”

09:00pm: Voting continues with the fourth batch, delegates from Osun, Oyo and Plateau states. The misplaced sum of money still has not been claimed and there is another announcement. The compere states this time that the owner must also state the colour of the envelope as well as the amount in it before they make a claim. The announcement is generating a lot of excitement in the crowd.

08:38pm: A short interlude as the compere announces that an envelope full of money has been misplaced by one of the delegates during voting. The owner has been asked to identify the exact amount before claiming the money. A bank card has also been found it is announced.

08:18pm: First medical casualty of the day as an unidentified delegate from Akwa Ibom collapses in the voting queue.

08:10pm: Atiku Abubakar and Goodluck Jonathan, who are of course delegates themselves, have voted in the Adamawa and Bayelsa box accordingly.Delegates from Rivers State through to Zamfara have also been asked to begin voting but from the opposite end of the square. So far things have appeared to be quite orderly.

08:02pm: Voting commences using the ‘open-secret’ ballot system. The labels on each of the ballot boxes have been handwritten and stuck on with brown cello-tape.

07:53pm: Voting is about to start. Tunde Adeniran instructs security to take their place and clear voting area. It will be done alphabetically with Adamawa to Borno starting the proceedings.

07:41pm: Jonathan: “Within two years, every state will have a federal tertiary institution of education.”

“I will not join issues with others because our delegates already know us very well.” “I will give this country strong leadership to become developed.”

President Jonathan resists the temptation to trade barbs with Mr. Abubakar. As he concludes, he is the only contender to get a standing ovation from delegates. Perhaps an early indicator of how delegates may vote.

07:38pm: A bit of favouritism on show here as President Jonathan is heralded with a musical interlude by Art Alade. The other aspirants did not get such treatment. The President takes stage and shakes hands with both Sarah Jubril and Atiku Abubakar. He calls for a minute of silence for President Yar’Adua. It is the second for the late president and the third minute of silence overall.

07:25pm: Deputy PDP chairman declares convention “open”, about one and a half hours after Mr. Nwodo had done the same. President Jonathan is set to address the delegates. Security starting to lose their grip on delegates as many can now be seen floating around Eagle Square in animated discussions with their counterparts.

07:18pm: A curious turn of events here. Okweselize Nwodo, who has already addressed the delegates, has now delegated his duties to the deputy national chairman through a letter. We can also confirm that the Enugu High court has indeed vacated the order barring Mr. Nwodo from parading himself as party chairman.

07:13pm: Mr.Abubakar continues his attack on the current government saying that his main opponent has left the country in a worse state than he inherited. He ends by asking delegates to make a ‘historic decision’. He walks straight back to his seat again without acknowledging Mr. Jonathan. He is deep in conversation with Mrs Jubril who appears to be remonstrating [with] him.

07:01pm: Atiku Abubakar is next on stage to address the delegates. He says: “How you vote at these primaries will determine whether we (PDP) will win he election.” He launches into a scathing attack of his “main opponent.” He labels him “distrustful” amd accuses him of “throwing away the ladder that got him into his position.” He recounts the minutes of the infamous meeting in which zoning was agreed for the 2011 election.

06:58pm: Sarah Jubril who dubs herself ‘Mama President’ ends her address with a rendition of ‘We shall Overcome.’

06:50pm: Sarah Jubril, who has been waiting since 10am, skips to the stage. She is first up to address the delegates. She is full of energy and appeals to the women and underprivileged in society. She says with a female president, Nigeria will not be considered a corrupt country any more.

06:45pm: An interesting aside as Tunde Adeniran reads out the rules of engagement: Delegates are being closely guarded by security operatives. One delegate got up, apparently for a toilet break, but was asked to return to his seat until voting commences. After much arguing, he was escorted to the toilet by an official. It appears that some last minute wranglings are still going on and security is actively trying to minimise any contact between delegates.

06:25pm: PDP national auditor, Samuel Ortom, begins his address, letting the audience know the state of party finances. The compere, Bisi Olatilo, says that there are three more items on the agenda before voting starts. He says it should be underway ‘within two hours.’

06:10pm: Mr. Nwodo ends his address by breaking into a song: “PDP we love you, there is no other party like PDP”. Abubakar Baraje, the National Secretary, immediately replaces him on the stage and begins his own address.

05:55pm:Okweselize Nwodo, who was yesterday sacked as PDP national chairman, has arrived and immediately takes to the stage. Unconfirmed reports reaching us that the High court order has been vacated. We will confirm once we get more new

05:40pm: Election materials have also finally arrived, – over 6 hours after convention billed to start

05:37pm: Opening prayers – Christian and Muslim

05:34pm: As President Jonathan sits down, he shakes hands with Sarah Jubril and Atiku Abubakar.

05:30pm: President Goodluck Jonathan has arrived and makes his way to state box

05:25pm: Olusegun Obasanjo has arrived, taking a seat next to David Mark while Dimeji Bankole sits next to Atiku. The former president is locked in discussions with Yayale Ahmed.

05:12pm: The contentious pattern of voting is not option A4′. Each state delegation has one booth to vote and the delegates will queue behind the state governor. In non- PDP controlled states, the delegates queue behind the state party leader. Meanwhile, Bukola Saraki has arrived at last.

05:09pm: In an interview with NEXT a few minutes ago, Tunde Adeniran said the Electoral Panel has not been given the delegates list. Mr. Adeniran also confirmed receiving a letter of protest from Atiku on the expected pattern of voting.

05:02pm: Our state house correspondent confirms that President Jonathan is about to leave for Eagle Square

04:39pm: All states delegations are aleady seated except those of Bauchi, Cross River, Gombe, Kano, Niger and Zamfara, though some of their governors are here. Osun, Bayelsa and Anambra delegates wearing special uniform. Atiku arrived alongside Ken Nnamani

04:22pm: Atiku Abubakar arrives in Eagle Square

02:36pm: Bukola Saraki absent at convention as Kwara delegates are led by deputy governor, Joel Ogundeji

02:31pm: Looks like some form of ceremony is starting. Bisi Olatilo has begun introductions. Delta delegates arrive, some governors too. We appear close to a start.

02:30pm: News from our state house correspondent that President Jonathan is still at his residence and has not left yet.

02:20pm: Today might just as well be a public holiday as the neighbouring Federal secretariat and annex are empty. There is no soul. Security men have taken over the surroundings.

02:09pm: Still no sign of either President Jonathan or Atiku Abubakar. However the delegates from Kogi, Kwara, Imo, Abia and Rivers states have arrived and taken their seats in the pavilion.

1:30pm: The 41 member Electoral panel, headed by Tunde Adeniran, emerged from a meeting under one of the pavilions and have set about inspecting the polling booths

01:05pm: Some activity at last! The 41 member Electoral panel, headed by Tunde Adeniran, has just emerged from a meeting under one of the pavilions and they are about to inspect the polling booths. All arms of the force, including paramilitary forces, are securing the venue. On show are the police, conventional and anti-riot, army, civil defence corps, etc

12:50pm: No sign of any of the voting materials in the 37 polling booths. So far, Eagle Square is mostly made up of journalists, both foreign and local.

12:47pm: Nothing much to report as of yet. Two police helicopters are noisily hovering above Eagle Square. All fire and safety precautions appear to have been taken.

12:45pm: Security is very tight. The usual ‘rent-a-crowds’ that typically converge on days like these are nowhere to be found.

12:36pm: The pavilions designated for the delegates to sit in are practically empty. Each state, including the FCT, has its own allocated pavilion.


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